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Defence Forces Reserve.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 30 April 2009

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Questions (195)

Finian McGrath


195 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Defence if he will support a matter (details supplied). [17209/09]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Defence)

The Government introduced a moratorium on recruitment to the Public Service with effect from 27 March 2009. As with the public service generally, the defence organisation is required to operate with reduced funding for 2009. In this context, all recruitment to the Reserve Defence Force has been suspended for the present. I accept that this will disappoint many individuals who have applied for enlistment in the Reserve. Membership of the Reserve already requires a significant voluntary commitment of unpaid training. In addition members of the Reserve undertake paid training. While the budgetary provision for training of members of the Reserve has been reduced, it will be sufficient to provide for paid training for the existing members of the Reserve this year. I appreciate that certain individuals wishing to join the Reserve are willing to forego paid training. However, the recruitment of new personnel to the Reserve under differing terms and conditions to existing members of the Reserve would not be in the best interests of the Reserve Defence Force in general.